Do you know what happens when you fall in love with a narcissist?

If not, you’re in the right place. A community member asked us about this during a masterclass, so I researched it and here’s what I learned.

When you fall in love with a narcissist, you will often:

  • Feel like you’re on a rollercoaster.
  • Experience a hit to your self-esteem.
  • Feel isolated from friends and family.
  • Have your boundaries ignored or crossed.
  • Start doubting your perceptions.
  • Feel responsible for their happiness.
  • Lose sight of your ambitions, goals, and desires.

In this post, I will explain each of these to help you understand what happens when you fall in love with a narcissist.

If you have or currently are experiencing narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse for help.

You Might Feel Like You’re on a Rollercoaster

Falling in love with a narcissist often means you’re in for a ride that feels like a rollercoaster.

At first, everything seems perfect. 

They shower you with attention and make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world.1 

This is called the “love bombing” phase. 

But soon, the highs turn into lows. They might start criticizing you or seem less interested, making you feel confused and sad. 

But right when you think things are taking a turn for the worst, they switch back to being loving and attentive to pull you back in.

A narcissist switching back to being loving to pull their target back in.


It’s a cycle that keeps repeating. 

You find yourself always trying to get back to the good times, but the switch between good and bad happens so fast that it leaves you feeling dizzy and unsure about what’s real.

Suggested Reading: 11 Things Narcissists Do During the Love Bombing Phase

Your Self-Esteem Might Take a Hit

When you fall in love with a narcissist, you might notice that your self-esteem starts to drop.2

This happens because, over time, they might begin to criticize you, dismiss your feelings, or make you feel like you’re always wrong. 

For example, they might say something hurtful, and when you get upset, they’ll tell you that you’re being too sensitive or can’t take a joke. 

Hearing things like this can make you start to question yourself

You might wonder if you’re really too sensitive or if something is wrong with you. 

This constant questioning can chip away at how you see yourself, making it hard to feel confident or valuable without their approval.

You May Feel Isolated from Friends and Family

Getting involved with a narcissist often leads to feeling isolated from your friends and family.3 

They may want all your attention and get jealous or upset when you spend time with others. 

For instance, they might say, “Why do you need to go out with your friends when you have me?” or “Your family doesn’t understand our relationship. They just want to keep us apart.” 

A narcissist isolating the target from friends because they want all the attention.

Comments like these can make you feel guilty for wanting to maintain other relationships, slowly pulling you away from your support network

Over time, you might find yourself seeing friends and family less and less, not necessarily because you want to, but because it feels easier than dealing with the narcissist’s reactions. 

This isolation can make it harder to reach out for help or even realize how much the relationship has taken over your life.

Suggested Reading: 5 Ways Narcissists Isolate You

Your Boundaries May Be Ignored or Crossed

Falling in love with a narcissist often means your boundaries get ignored or crossed

In a healthy relationship, both parties respect each other’s limits and comfort zones.4 

But a narcissist might see your boundaries as challenges to their control or signs that you don’t care about them enough. 

They might push you to do things by saying, “If you loved me, you would do this for me,” or “I guess I was wrong about how much you care.” 

This pressure can make you second-guess your own feelings and boundaries, leading you to let them be crossed in hopes of proving your love or avoiding conflict. 

Over time, this erodes your sense of self and makes it difficult to stand up for what you truly want and need.

Suggested Reading: Is It Abusive for Narcissists to Ignore Your Boundaries?

If you need help with anything related to narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.

You May Start Doubting Your Perceptions

When you fall in love with a narcissist, you might find yourself doubting your perceptions and memories. 

Narcissists often use gaslighting, a manipulation technique where they intentionally doubt or deny your reality.5

For instance, if you mention a situation in which they treated you poorly, they might respond with, “That never happened; you’re imagining things,” or “You always overreact; it wasn’t that big of a deal.” 

A narcissist using gaslighting to make their target to doubt their perceptions.

Over time, these denials can make you question your sanity and trust in your own judgment. 

This constant self-doubt keeps you dependent on the narcissist for “reality,” making it harder to assert yourself or make decisions without second-guessing.

Suggested Reading: 6 Tactics Narcissists Use to Make You Doubt Yourself

You Might Feel Responsible for Their Happiness

Being in a relationship with a narcissist often means feeling like you’re always responsible for their happiness and well-being.6 

They may project an image of self-sufficiency, but in private, they could make you feel it’s your job to keep them happy, entertained, and reassured. 

To do this, they might say things like, “You’re the only good thing in my life,” or “I’d be lost without you,” placing the weight of their emotional state squarely on your shoulders. 

This responsibility can be overwhelming, making you prioritize their needs over your own to keep them stable and content. 

The pressure to be their emotional caretaker can drain your energy and leave little room for your own well-being and happiness.

Free Course: How to Set Boundaries with a Narcissist

You Might Lose Sight of Your Ambitions, Goals, and Desires

Being in a relationship with a narcissist often means your ambitions, goals, and desires begin to fade into the background.7 

You see, narcissists demand a lot of attention and validation, which can drain the energy you have for your own interests. 

If you’re passionate about a hobby or have career goals, you might find yourself setting these aside to cater to the narcissist’s needs or to avoid conflict. 

They might make dismissive comments like, “Why bother with that when it doesn’t help us?” or “You’re wasting your time on something that won’t matter.” 

Over time, this constant undermining can lead to doubts about the value of your ambitions, causing you to lose sight of what you once found fulfilling and important. 

If you are ready to be more than a victim of narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.


Thank you so much for reading; I hope you found this article helpful.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

Have you experienced being in a relationship with a narcissist, and how did it affect your sense of self and your relationships with others?

What strategies or support helped you regain self-esteem and independence after such a relationship?

Or perhaps you have questions about how to recognize and prevent yourself from a similar situation in the future.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Our Latest Articles

About the Author

Hey, I’m Elijah.

I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years. 

I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.

Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.

Unfilteredd has strict sourcing guidelines and only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our content. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, actionable, inclusive, and trustworthy by reading our editorial process.

  1. Heather Jones. (2023. November, 28). What Are the Signs of Love Bombing? Verywell Mind.,attention%2C%20and%20other%20manipulative%20tactics. ↩︎
  2. Amanda Lundberg. (2024. February, 27). The Long-Term Effects of Narcissistic Abuse. Charlie Health.,victim’%20s%20sense%20of%20self%2Dworth. ↩︎
  3. Eric, a Hotline Advocate. Tips on Rebuilding and Maintaining Support After the Isolation of Abuse. National Domestic Violence Hotline.,over%20the%20relationship%20and%20survivor. ↩︎
  4. Characteristics of Healthy & Unhealthy Relationships. ↩︎
  5. Newport Institute. (2021. November, 4). How to Tell If Someone Is Gaslighting You. Newport Institute. ↩︎
  6. Amy Marschall. (2023. November, 27). Fawning: What to Know About the People-Pleasing Trauma Response. Verywell Mind.,as%20compliance%20to%20prevent%20harm. ↩︎
  7. National Domestic Violence Hotline. Dynamics of Abuse. National Domestic Violence Hotline. ↩︎

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.